"I am primarily a cultural sociologist, and my research projects have focused on questions of cultural production and social change. My dissertation was a study of American children's book publishing and the ideological content of American children's novels. I was curious about what it means to think about novels as a source of data about both ideology and production context, and I was interested in the history of the feminized labor of American children's book divisions. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter, I worked on a study of European film festival organizations. My new research study, of Balinese sea salt, extends questions of cultural production and commodification, while connecting to questions of globalization, commerce, and consumption."
Years at Knox: 2006 to present
Ph.D., 2005, University of Washington.
M.A., 1999, University of Washington.
B.A., 1996, Smith College.
The sociology of culture, consumption, the sociology of food, economic sociology and globalization, stratification-inequality and privilege, research methods, and social change.
Philip Green Wright/Lombard College Prize for Distinguished Teaching, September 2011.
Mellon Foundation Community Research Grant, Summer 2011.
Kappa Kappa Gamma Professor of the Year, May 2011.
Fulbright Senior Scholar Award: Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia/The Indonesian Institute of Sciences, 2010-2011.
Dr. Frank J. Jirka Fund Teaching Enhancement Award, Knox College, Summer 2009.
SEASSI Language Study Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, 2008.
"Too Much of a Good Thing: Between displaying and consuming gourmet foods." In T. Conroy (Ed.), Food and Everyday Life. Lexington Press, forthcoming 2012.
"A Novel Approach: The sociology of literature, children's books, and social inequality." The International Journal of Qualitative Methods 10.4 (2011): 307-320.
"When Bad Girls Go Good: Models of the self and reality on Vh1's Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School." A. Holbrook and A. Singer. The Journal of Popular Film and Television 37 (2009): 34-43.
"Democracy for Children?: The social context of American children's novels, 1930-1950." In R. Browne & L. Kreiser, Jr. (Eds.), Popular Culture and the Arts: Essays on Elitism versus Democratization. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press: (2009.)
"The Romance of Balinese Foods." Invited by Dr. Patricia Henry, presented at Northern Illinois University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies, DeKalb, Illinois, 2010.
"Focused Flexibility: Sociological research methods in practice." Invited by Dr. Carla Eastis, presented at Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina, 2008.
"Film Festivals, Fieldwork, and Feminist Methodologies." Invited by Dr. Margaretta Jolly, presented at the Feminist Research Network, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 2005.
Campus & Community Involvement
Chair, Faculty Cultural Events Committee.
Member, American Sociological Association.
Member, Sociologists for Women in Society.
Member, Social Science History Association.
Member, Children's Literature Associations.
Member, Midwest Sociological Society.
What Students Say
"Amy is very invested in the learning process and in her students' successes. She encourages hard work and critical thinking through high expectations and also takes time to get to know students on an individual level. She is especially good at teaching students how to take time with learning materials so they may gain a deep and meaningful understanding of concepts and theories related to course topics. She welcomes both intellectual and personal relationships with students and is great to work with on independent research projects or independent studies."
-Julia Strehlow, Anthropology-Sociology major
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder was selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."
Rana Tahir, a double major in creative writing and political science, wrote dozens of poems and created 29 paintings after interviewing Kuwaiti residents about the 1990 Iraqi occupation.
Knox College awarded more than $3,000 in prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show. Organizing 200 art works in an array of media is a challenge, according student Katie O'Connor, who helped arrange the entries.